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The U.S. and Japan took a major step Saturday in moving some 8,000 Marines and their families from Okinawa to Guam when officials exchanged notes allowing for the transfer of $336 million from Japan for construction projects for this fiscal year.

“This is a significant step forward towards implementation of the realignment package,” the U.S. State Department announced in a news release. The move of the major Marine commands on Okinawa is scheduled to be completed in 2014. Japan has promised to pay a total of $6.09 billion for the estimated total cost of $10.27 billion.

Japan will pay $2.8 billion in cash and the rest in third-party loans and investments, according to an agreement signed by the two countries in February. The $6.09 billion does not include the cost of building a new air facility on Camp Schwab to replace Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

The $336 million from Japan this fiscal year will go toward the following projects:


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